The Student Government runoff is back in full swing after the Election Rules Commission reconsidered its disqualification of presidential candidate Maxon Victor.
Victor was given a disqualification letter Thursday after his campaign was assessed five points for using SG resources for campaign benefit.
This marks the third year in a row that a presidential candidate has been disqualified but then reinstated after appealing the decision.
At the time, Victor had seven points assessed for previous violations. Victor was given five points in a previous violation for using SG resources early in his campaign by passing out SG planners. The extra five put his campaign over the limit, thus disqualifying him. Victor immediately appealed the decision, which was set to be heard on Monday by the Supreme Court.
“The ERC is not perfect and no one is,” Victor said. “They’re trying to be as fair and technical as possible. The candidates, the tickets, the folks writing the grievances, they’re looking for the smallest and pettiest things.”
No case was needed after the ERC changed its stance.
“Having deliberated and gone over all the information again, we felt that the majority of the three-member deliberative body felt that the first point assessment was too high. Therefore, it resulted in a change in point assessment.” said Charlie Eder, Deputy Supervisor of Elections.
The first five points assessed to the Victor campaign were adjusted to two after much consideration.
This election differs greatly from last years election, in which every candidate was disqualified at some point.
“It’s never a good thing to have someone disqualified,” said Omar Khan, former student body president. “Inevitably, students will lose out because every candidate brings something to the table.”
As it stands, both parties must watch their campaign tactics as they are both teetering on the edge of disqualification. Andrew Aubery’s campaign has seven points assessed against it. Victor ‘s has nine.
“Both candidates still have their current points,” Eder said. “The only thing that changes for the candidates is their expense accounts to further their campaign.”
In the existing election, no candidate secured the 50 percent needed to win. Victor edged current Vice President Aubery by three votes, forcing a runoff.
Now that the field has been narrowed to two candidates, the four tickets that did not make the runoff have a big decision to make: which candidate they will endorse. The Michael Johnson/Kyle Myers ticket has already openly voiced it’s support for Victor’s campaign.
“At this point, our campaign is doing what we can for the Maxon/Sameer campaign,” Johnson said. “We wish them nothing but the best right now and any way we can help out we will.”
The Brandon Faza/Brittany Link campaign decided to side with Aubery’s ticket.
“Our campaign staff and supporters have helped us to come to the conclusion that Andrew and Jessica have the most diverse experiences as a team and that Student Government would progress with them more in the same direction that we would have taken it.” Faza said.
Silverlee Hernandez was unable to comment due to her new position as Interim Attorney General.
Glen Gilzean Jr.’s campaign said that Victor represents the people. “His slogan is the people’s campaign and we feel he’ll be able to get out to the students and address their needs,” Gilzean said.
In previous elections, voter turnout between runoff candidates has been slightly higher, something the ERC hopes will be duplicated during this runoff.
“I think if you go back and look at the past, runoffs have good representation of the students,” Eder said.
“We’re definatly hoping for a high turnout, just as we were before.” Eder and the ERC believe that despite the latest setback in campaigning, this has been successful.
“I just think that having not been involved with SG and coming into the process, we can walk away from the process happy with our performance, with the amount of grievances filed and the short time frame and increased voter turnout. Personally, we did a good job and a good service to the students in providing a fair and balanced election.”
Maxon had no hard feelings toward the ERC, but still had some disdain regarding the grievance that put his campaign over the top.
“I don’t want to put blame on the ERC necessarily, I want the individuals who write these grievances to evaluate their motives.”
Come Wednesday night, motives aside, USF will have a new SG president.